This session began with Alia, an Antyx Community Arts facilitator, sharing her art practice with the group. Alia’s portfolio includes installations at Wreck City, collaborative painting pieces, and other interactive work.
One of the themes Alia’s work explores is connection between people – a suspension bridge between two pre-demolition houses in Wreck City being a prime example of this concept.
Listening to the youth work on their ideas, it seems that the theme of connection has struck a cord with them too. Many of the Youth Arts Team seemed interested in creating elements that would encourage collaboration and interaction between strangers and friends.
After Alia shared her portfolio and practice with the group, the Youth Arts Team continued to work on their ideas, creating mock-ups of them. Before the end of the session the group shared their ideas; these ideas will be integrated into the design by the Collaborating Artists.
It was exciting to listen to the Youth Team discuss their ideas, and see how thoughtful they were being about the type of experiences they wanted to create. For example, the team picked up on a theme in the various brainstorm sessions – people wanted places to sit, not just spaces to actively play. This lead to an idea of creating flexible seating space, perhaps suspended from the Play On Wheels trailer, and there was excitement about the potential of a space like this to help (or maybe strongly encourage) strangers to interact with each other.
Other youth suggested creating a rope ladder mechanism that would help you climb up the trailer. The catch is that you’d need multiple people to activate it – creating another opportunity for connection and collaboration.
Inspired by a TED Talk, another group discussed the possibility of creating a Talk Back Wall. They dreamed about providing thoughtful prompts which visitors could answer, thereby creating conversation amongst strangers.
In addition to the group’s interest in inspiring interaction, it was also apparent that the Youth Arts Team is excited about creating elements that allow people to take risks while they play. You should see the slides they’re dreaming up.
Posted by Meghan Durieux (volunteer)